Congressman Tim Ryan Secures $312,744 for Partnership between BRITE Energy Innovators and the Youngstown Business Incubator | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Secures $312,744 for Partnership between BRITE Energy Innovators and the Youngstown Business Incubator

June 29, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Congressman Tim Ryan announced today a $312,744 federal investment in the Valley Internet of Things Initiative (VIOTI), a partnership between BRITE Energy Innovators and the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI). This initiative will bring area and statewide partners together to create and implement training and entrepreneurial support programs and assist in retraining and reshoring jobs for Mahoning Valley and Ohio manufacturers. This investment will assist local manufacturers and startups in receiving the necessary training to make them more competitive in launching and piloting products that will grow their business and create jobs. The funding was secured by Congressman Ryan in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.


“I am proud of the work that is being done by both the YBI and BRITE Energy Innovators in working together to ensure that the Mahoning Valley is at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and ‘making things,’” said Congressman Ryan. “I will always work to provide the necessary resources to expand our economic growth and help provide good-paying jobs for the residents of the Mahoning Valley.” 


"YBI is excited to be partnered with BRITE on this project,” said Barb Ewing, CEO of the Youngstown Business Incubator. “The Internet of Things is literally the future of everything, from refrigerators to manufacturing lines.  This funding will allow us to build new programming to support our local manufacturing base figure out how to use the technology to make themselves more competitive." 


“This opportunity to work with YBI could not have come at a better time as we see the collision of analytics and manufacturing as a key indicator of how we are going to bring back good paying jobs for talented young people,” said Rick Stockburger, President and CEO of BRITE Energy Innovators. “We are excited to leverage our IoT lab resources to create meaningful lines of support to companies ready to upgrade technology to make better operational decisions.”


A recent survey by Youngstown State University interviewed multiple sectors and found that over seventy-five percent of local companies do not utilize real-time data and over fifty percent note that they did not have the expertise or training for adoption. This investment in training and technical assistance will improve business operations and energy efficiency and ensure local manufacturers and startups remain competitive on the global stage. 


Ryan is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, serving as Chair of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee and Vice Chair of the Defense Subcommittee. Ryan submitted several Community Project Funding requests to the Appropriations Committee. Information on the status of additional requests will be announced in the coming days.
The inclusion of this funding in the Appropriations Committee draft bill is the first step in the funding process. Ryan will continue to fight for this funding as the bill moves to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House Floor, and negotiations with the Senate.